MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – With the holidays winding down, it’s time take a deep breath, relax and order in dinner, which for many means Chinese food.
So, for all of those who plan to indulge in Asian cuisine this holiday season, WCCO went in search of the best Chinese restaurant in Minnesota. Your votes took us to a mainstay on 94th and Lyndale in Bloomington: David Fong’s.
Folks are fanatical about the food at David Fong’s Chinese Restaurant.
“The food here, you cannot beat it,” said Hank Kooza. “It’s excellent.”
But if you can direct your focus to the walls, you’ll see being named Best Chinese Restaurant in Minnesota isn’t the first award they’ve received.
It started with a long ago U-turn in the 1950s.
“The history of the restaurant starts with my parents, Dave and Helen Fong,” said Ed Fong, the current owner. “I was two months old, and they were looking for a location in Richfield. They missed the exit, and came all the way down Lyndale to 98th and Lyndale. They saw a ‘for lease’ sign in a small office retail space. On a handshake, the landlord said fine, and that’s where we started our business.”
It’s a landmark decked out in red, the Chinese color for prosperity.
“I first came here in 1970, and the class of the restaurant was so phenomenal,” said long-time customer Barry ZeVan. “When someone says Chinese, if they come from out of town, I say, ‘This is where we’re going–David Fong’s.’ And I’m not paid to say that.”
Celebrities like Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale and Sally Struthers have all sat at these tables and taken a peek at the same menu.
“There’s a certain timeless quality to it,” said customer David Gee. “You walk into the front door, and it’s a time warp.”
From the decor to the veteran servers to the chow mein, you can count on David Fong’s for consistency.
“You mean it’s still not 1952?” joked ZeVan.
Like the staff, the food is family-style.
While Ed won’t reveal the secret sauce, he will share his secret to success.
“This is like a second home for me,” he said. “They are coming to my home, so I want to make sure they are my guests when they come in.”
David Fong’s is closed Christmas Day, but is normally open Monday to Saturday.
There are also two smaller locations in Prior Lake and Savage.